We are Nithya and Evangeline, social work students (MSW) from Stella Maris College, Chennai. We volunteered with REACH as a field work trainees to know and understand their initiatives in TB control. We had some knowledge about TB, but, only after a thorough orientation by the staff we understood the gravitas of TB problem in India.

As part of our work, we were asked to interact with TB patients.  Initially we were nervous as we did not know the right way to deal with patients. But, guidance from REACH staff made us confident and we started talking to patients. During our stint, we learnt about DOTS, the need to educate people about the disease and various other interesting facts surrounding treatment of TB patients.  We were exposed to harsh realities of patients suffering and the impact it caused on their families.

Our work also involved meeting pharmacists and encouraging them to participate in REACH’s TB control initiatives. It was an iffy task, as initially, several Pharmacists were not keen on the initiative. However, constant motivation and perseverance pushed us to network with more pharmacists and bring them under the TB control initiative.

Our stint in REACH has been an eye-opening experience. We have enough knowledge about TB to educate people about the disease and also guide TB patients to start their treatment on time.

We thank REACH for this opportunity and we wish them all the very best!